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Canadian Forces Snowbirds given green light to resume operations after deadly crash in May 


The Canadian Forces Snowbirds air demonstration squadron will be resuming operations after an operational pause was lifted Monday morning.

The pause had been implemented after a fatal accident in Kamloops on May 17 claimed the life of Snowbirds Public Affairs Officer Captain Jennifer Casey.

Casey was killed when the CT-114 Tutor plane she was in crashed shortly after takeoff at 11:40 a.m. from the Kamloops airport.

See Also: One dead in Canadian Forces Snowbird crash in Kamloops

While the investigation into Casey’s death is still ongoing, the Snowbirds say that a thorough technical and operational risk analysis has been undertaken to enhance safety.

The focus of that analysis is on risk mitigation measures that place some restrictions on flying operations and increased maintenance requirements.

Once the investigation into Casey’s death is completed the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will determine if further risk mitigation measures are required.

In the meantime, the remainder of the Snowbirds 2020 season has been cancelled, including remaining dates in a cross-Canada tour aimed at boosting morale during COVID-19.

“The Snowbirds continue to mourn the loss of Captain Jennifer Casey,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Bandet, Commanding Officer 431 Air Demonstration Squadron.

“While we are saddened that the 2020 air demonstration season is officially cancelled, and that we will not be completing Operation INSPIRATION, the team is looking forward to getting back in the air and starting to train for next year’s season.”

The RCAF says the investigation into the Kamloops incident, which was part of the tour, is focussed on environmental factors including birds striking the plane.

Tim Ford
Tim Ford
Digital staff writer with Victoria Buzz

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